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Top 16 of '16: Most-read stories of the year

"Millionaire's Row" on Dayton Street in the West End.

Across Main Street, the Dennison Hotel building faces a demolition request.

The Dennison Hotel

A line of food trucks around Washington Park.

The owners of Brink Brewing have been renovating a space on Hamilton Avenue in College Hill.

Andrew Gomez, owner of Gomez Salsa, opened a brick-and-mortar store in Walnut Hills.

Kirby School Apartments in Northside


For our last feature story of the year, we decided to compile a list of our 16 most-read feature and department stories. We've written about some doozies, including the preservation and redevelopment of historic buildings, beer, food, startup launches and nonprofit fundraising campaigns.

Tell us: What was your favorite Soapbox story of 2016? What do you want to see us write about in 2017?
 
Features:

Soapdish: Why can’t the West End be Cincinnati’s next breakthrough neighborhood? (Jan. 26)
Soapbox columnist Casey Coston makes an argument for the West End as Cincinnati’s next up-and-coming neighborhood. Even after a mass razing in the 1950s, it’s full of vacant, historic elementary schools, single-family homes and a commercial district primed for redevelopment. 
 
History Repeats Itself: Why we tear down 150-year-old buildings in historic districts (March 29)
Earlier this year, the Historic Conservation Board decided to demolish 721 Main St. to make way for a proposed project. Developers’ plans were met with concerned citizens who wanted to preserve Cincinnati’s historic fabric. Rather than fighting each other, maybe we should be fighting the process.
 
Soapdish: Demolishing the Dennison would be unconscionable (April 26)
The Dennison Hotel, built in 1892 by renowned local architect Samuel Hannaford, has been a hot-button topic among the city’s historic preservationists; do we demolish and make way for a surface parking lot, or preserve for future development? (That question was sadly answered in a recent decision to demolish the building.)
 
30 must-try Cincinnati food trucks (May 20, 2014)
Although technically not written in 2016, our roundup of Cincinnati’s food trucks has been a favorite for two years running. Should we continue adding to the list?
 
Development News:

Brink Brewing to add its own story to College Hill neighborhood redevelopment (Feb. 4)
Soapbox broke the news about Brink Brewing renovating a space in College Hill’s central business district. The brewery will be a community gathering space that the owners hope will feel like home. A grand opening is slated for early 2017.
 
Gomez Salsa owner opening brick-and-mortar store in Walnut Hills (April 5)
Over-the-Rhine’s favorite taco window now has a permanent restaurant at Five Points Alley in Walnut Hills. Foodies can now get Gomez Salsa’s famous turtles for lunch or dinner, while enjoying live music at a community event.
 
Kirby School Apartments to host open house for former students & teachers, prospective tenants (May 9)
Bloomfield/Schon + Partners brought back many memories for Cincinnatians by redeveloping Kirby Road School in Northside. The school hasn’t held students since 2012, but it’s now home to 40 apartments.
 
Third annual Food Truck Fest moves to Summit Park in Blue Ash (July 24)
Over the past two years, Cincinnatians have come to love the Cincinnati Food Truck Association’s Food Truck Fest. For this year’s festival, the decision was made to move the event to Blue Ash’s newly renovated Summit Park, and the event garnered its biggest turnout to date.
 
Innovation News:

FounderCon 2016 is coming to Cincinnati in October, a “dream come true” for local startups (Jan. 19)
Cintrifuse played a huge part in bringing 1,000 startup founders and entrepreneurs from around the world to Cincinnati for Techstars’ annual FounderCon. Soapbox attended the event this fall — you can read the follow-up story here.
 
St. X grads design unique language-learning platform, launch Kickstarter campaign (April 19)
This spring, three St. Xavier graduates and a PhD candidate in linguistics launched their personalized language-learning platform, Lingohop. Lessons include four-minute sessions that ask users questions in different languages. A public launch is still in the works.
 
Arts Atlas data tool to help local arts organizations target programming to underserved communities (June 6)
ArtsWave’s Arts Atlas is the first of its kind in the country. It integrates data about arts organizations and their programming with demographic data.
 
New chapter of the Founder Institute helps cultivate startup ecosystem (Sept. 5)
This fall, Founder Institute, which was established in 2009, started its first class in Cincinnati. The 14-week program is designed for those who aren’t ready to quit their day jobs but are still interested in getting a concept off the ground.
 
For Good:

Findlay Market’s incubator kitchen nearing completion (Jan. 19)
Findlay Market opened its 8,000-square-foot shared-use commercial kitchen in September. Members can utilize the space 24-hours a day, with access to some of Cincinnati's rising stars of food innovation.
 
Crossroads’ Beans and Rice week raises nearly $259,000 for 8 organizations (April 5)
The Beans and Rice program through Crossroads asks congregants to eat cheaply for one week and put money saved toward a good cause. In its fourth year, the program raised $259,000 for eight local and international organizations.
 
Local musician uses his music to fuel anti-bullying initiative (June 27)
Four years ago, musician Keenan West released his song “Never Ever.” After creating an anti-bullying music video for the song, he launched a career speaking to students across the country about fighting bullying.
 
PLCHC ranks as 5th busiest and one of most effective in nation (Sept. 5)
The Public Library Association named the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County the fifth-best library in the nation. PLCHC offers traditional services as well as free music downloads and a MakerSpace for creatives.
 

Read more articles by Caitlin Koenig.

Caitlin Koenig is a Cincinnati transplant and 2012 grad of the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. She's the department editor for Soapbox Media and currently lives in Northside with her husband, Andrew, and their three furry children. Follow Caitlin on Twitter at @caite_13.  
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